Friday, April 28, 2017

My Second Horror Block!

I'm unpacking my second Horror Block Box!


Included in the box is...

1. In the House of Flies DVD. (Yes, I know I still have to review the movie from the last Horror Block).

2. What's Your Favorite Scary Movie? Pin. It's already on my jacket, (over my Buffalo, NY pierogi button).

3. Puppet Master III DVD. I'm going to make Andrew watch all of them.


4. "Symphony of Horrors" Nosferatu WHITE T shirt. I love the image, however it's white. It'll be the first white T shirt I have owned in years!


5. Tiny Combat Ash Miniature from the Evil Dead 2 game. (My Bruce Campbell blog reference is here.) I think I might make this into a hair accessory.


6. Court of the Dead Poster Collection. After more research, I guess this is a poster book based on a role playing game? Meh.


7. Rue Morgue Magazine. They are the reason I subscribed to the Horror Block ~ I can't wait to dig into this!

8. Nerd Block Magazine.

Oh and if you were curious...


You can watch my first Horror Block Box unpacking video here, (don't worry it's SUPER quick).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Don't Mutilate Your Cat

I dare say, if you want to declaw a cat, you shouldn't have one. You are basically doing it for YOUR convenience. Both of my cats, Ginger and Vicktor still have their claws and I wouldn't have it any other way. Ginger has never scratched anything that she's not supposed to and her claws are fine-tuned and razor sharp. Vicktor likes to scratch rope posts, cardboard scratch pads and one particular chair in our front room. I hate that chair too, so I say go for it Vicktor!


Think about it, there's A LOT of physical consequences when you declaw a cat. You amputate their first knuckle of every toe, changing the way their paws function. Right after the surgery they are in extreme pain and have to relearn HOW TO WALK, putting more stress on the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints. It forces their weight to be held up by the large paw pad instead of being distributed among the whole paw and toes. They have to then carry more weight on their hind legs for balance, when cats are made to carry weight on the front.


Declawing not only changes their equilibrium ~ in some instances their personalities change too. Allowing cats to claw is in their nature. They claw for exercise, keeping their nails trimmed and marking territory with scent. If they can't mark things by scratching they may take to peeing. If they don't have claws to defend themselves, they are more likely to bite and be more aggressive or it can go the opposite way and they become withdrawn and hide. You've taken away their main line of defense. If they have scar tissue that's not healing correctly they may not use the litter box because it hurts their paws. Not to mention, they could still grow a claw back inside the paws and the owner might not know it, and since it's major invasive surgery there's always a chance for infection or anesthetic complications. Basically, if you remove their claws their quality of life goes to the dogs ~ you have traumatized them. Don't get me started on people that let their declawed cats outside.

In older cats declawing can cause the toes to freeze making them unmoveable. They become prone to arthritis, nerve damage, bone spurs and chronic pain. No one wants that!

AND NO there is no humane way to declaw. Declawing with the laser treatment is still declawing. It may make the paws bleed less and your cat won't need stitches, but you are still removing the bone from their paw.

TWO DOZEN countries have already prohibited declawing ~ including, England, Australia, and Japan. In some places the consequences of declawing your cat is a year in prison and a monetary fine. New York State, New Jersey and California have been lobbying to ban declawing. The reason it still happens is that it's lucrative.


There ARE alternatives to declawing and ways to deter your cat from scratching.

-Provide cardboard or rope scratching posts and pads throughout the house for them to scratch instead of your furniture. Get a couple of varieties to see what they like. You can find one like this here.


 -Throw a blanket over the corners that they are scratching.


-Cover the furniture in double sided tape or foil when they scratch, but if you use tape, make sure they don't get tangled in it. Sticky Paws Furniture Tape would work.
-Use Cat Scratch Sofa Guards.

-Keep their nails trimmed, so they aren't trying to remove the outer husk by scratching. Here's a wonderful article on trimming. We usually only trim the front claws after they get done eating. They're full and happy, so they just kind of lay there and make it easy for us.


-Use nail caps such as Soft Paws for their claws.


-Use sprays, No Scratch or Claw Withdraw.

-Restrict access to the rooms with furniture you don't want ripped up.


I'm begging you, don't declaw it's cruel and inhumane. For more info. read about The Paw Project.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sophisticated & Creepy Bones

I'm SO lucky to know talented people. This past weekend at my store Cats Like Us we had an in-shop event featuring local artisan Monica from Across Lots. She makes hair accessories out of vintage found pieces. Every piece is handmade and unique. The pieces I really love are decorated in bones. Real bones. She sources them from a Museum in Oklahoma and even has a little sign about how no animals are harmed for their bones.
 
She is a traditional milliner and can make you a custom hat, flower, fascinator and headband too. What are you waiting for? Let's get sophisticated and creepy!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

NO KITTY!

I find myself constantly saying "No Kitty" to my Vicktor Frankenstein. He eats and chews on everything. (I swear we feed him).


Now I have a pin to wear in his honor. This purple and black No Kitty felt pin is made by Lumpy Buttons and it's a favorite of mine. Lumpy Buttons is from Buffalo, but she sells on etsy and in my shop, Cats Like Us. She HAND STITCHES ALL OF IT! The precision of each of her pieces is like nothing I have ever seen before.


Lumpy Buttons has a TON of fun designs that include: 

 Scully & Mulder
 Pirate Patchy Kitty
Bats!!!

Everyone should have a No Kitty in their life (whether it's real or made of felt)!



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Twin Peaks Revisited

Although not necessarily "horror" per se, Twin Peaks has an eerie vibe that sticks with you for many years. Now 25 years later, season three is going to premier on Showtime on May 21, 2017.


I'm a huge fan, but I must confess, I didn't watch the show when it originally aired. I had dance class that night, and wasn't interested in finding out the meaning of the catchphrase "Who Killed Laura Palmer?". A couple of years after the show ended, a friend of mine said I would love it, and offered to loan me his copied-from-TV VHS tapes of both seasons! Recorded VHS tapes made watching it even creepier with tape tracking skewing the images. After that I was hooked ~ like a fish in a percolator!


Twin Peaks was/is a phenomenon! Really it's no wonder. The TV show is a surreal escape into the quaint small logging town of Twin Peaks located in northwest Washington state. The main story is a "who done it" murder mystery surrounded by other worldly demensions that unfold but are never fully explained. There's NOT even a sincerely "good" character to root for. All of them have underlying secrets.


With season three on the horizon, I started to re-watch Twin Peaks. I can't believe this was ever on network TV! It's a soap opera where all the quirky characters have a double life and you can't wait to find out more. Once you figure out who the killer is ~ by the middle of season two ~ the enthusiasm to know more about the townsfolk is over UNTIL you find out more about the White Lodge/ Black Lodge hidden in the woods. Then it abruptly it ends on a cliffhanger. *sad face* The last episode always seemed very rushed to me. To give the show more closure, the movie Fire Walk With Me was released. BUT it's more of a prequel leading up to right before Twin Peaks starts. It's unfulfilling, still leaving questions unanswered, which lends itself to a cult following and people making their own theories.


David Lynch, has a cinematic photography style that was really unusual in the late 80s, plus he paid subtle homage to the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. (Way before Mad Men). You can find it every where on the show from Bobby Briggs vintage bowling shirt complete with chain stitched name on the front, to Nadine's eye patched head vase of herself (weird), to Dr. Jacoby's Hawaiian themed office complete with vintage barkcloth covered chair to Audrey's school girl fashion, Major Brigg's pineapple monkeypod serving tray, to the Log Lady's 1940s style bakelite leaf and acorn brooch she wears on her collar. If you close you're eyes for a minute, you'll miss the fun vintage things in the background. This is another reason I LOVE LOVE LOVE Twin Peaks.




In addition to the TV show and movie, they released a series of books too. I have some of the older Twin Peaks books, that were official releases, and I was gifted the new book The Secret History of Twin Peaks for Christmas. The new book is composed of  "mockumentation" ~ fictional letters, news clippings, and government documents. The first half is about the actual history of the locale of Twin Peaks, Lewis and Clark discovering streams etc. etc., the middle focuses on the history of the characters (and you actually find out why they are the way they are) and the last part is more about the future of Twin Peaks and there's a connection to aliens. That's all I'll say without giving too much away.


I've always had a crush on Special Agent Dale Cooper, played by Kyle MacLachlan. I have an 8x10 of him by my desk at work and this picture has traveled with me to 5 jobs over 20 years. Someone once pointed to the picture and asked me, "Is that your boyfriend?" I said, "Yes." Kyle if you're out there, I have a crush on you! I EVEN have the soundtrack to Showgirls. (Terrible movie but I love you in it and the soundtrack is great!)

My Special Agent on my filing cabinet.

25 years later and it's still fascinating!


Who has Showtime? ~ if you invite me over I'll bring a cherry pie!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Killer Plants!!!

It's Springtime ~ that time of year where you plant flowers and have them around the house, especially lillies. Keep in mind certain plants are dangerous to cats if ingested. Cats love to explore and hunt and crawl through plants, some like to chew on them too.



I had a friend with a large floor plant and her cat would dig up all the dirt, throwing it around the room and then sit in the half empty pot. Glad I discovered my Ginger only chews on the petals! That being said, you still have to be careful because there's MANY plants that are dangerous.


Here's a list of the more popular plants that are poisonous/ dangerous to cats. For a much LONGER list of over 400 variations, you can visit the ASPCA website. They have pictures and names to identify toxic plants. Find the list here.

  1. Aloe
  2. Amaryllis 
  3. Autumn Crocus 
  4. Azaleas and Rhododendrons 
  5. Bay Laurel
  6. Buttercup
  7. Castor Bean 
  8. Chives
  9. Chrysanthemum 
  10. Cyclamen
  11. Daffodils
  12. Dahlia
  13. Daisy
  14. English Ivy 
  15. Some Ferns
  16. Most Holly
  17. Hyacinths
  18. Hydrangea
  19. Iris
  20. All Lilies
  21. Lily of the Valley
  22. Marijuana
  23. Mint
  24. Morning Glory
  25. Mum
  26. Oleander
  27. Poinsettia 
  28. Pothos
  29. Rhododendron
  30. Sago Palm 
  31. Spanish Thyme 
  32. Tulip and Narcissus bulbs

It seems like a ton, I know. Personally, I just forego having flowers or I put them in rooms the cats don't go in, it saves the trouble of worrying about them. You can always keep them outside too. (The flowers, not the cats. 😉)

Looking for safe alternatives? Stick with spider plants, African violets, Christmas cactus and orchids.


Keep your kitties safe!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Movie: The Lure (2015)

This past week I was reeled into my favorite movie haunt The Screening Room to see the first run premier of 2015 Polish horror movie The Lure. The movie is touted as a"bold genre-defying horror-musical mashup" about Polish mermaids. How could I NOT want to see it?!  I prepared myself by NOT watching any trailers, I wanted to be surprised and I was.

Before the movie, at the concession stand, the little woman working there said, "Are you ready to watch a comedy? Just kidding. This is a really weird film." I laughed and thought, the weirder the better!

Andrew, my husband, and I got there early and had our pick of the chairs. I love that The Screening Room has a variety of seating depending on how you enjoy watching movies. There's cushy movie chairs, dining room chairs, high backed bar stools, a couch, high backed living room chairs, even a cushioned booth. We picked the high back living room chairs this time. 

***Caution there are spoilers coming up.***


The Lure began with beautiful animation. Andrew was excited it was subtitled because he doesn't hear very well. It's in Polish - duh.

The beginning of the movie starts off strong with two mermaids singing in the water to two men and a woman, presumably getting drunk on the beach. Those three people are impressed with the girls singing, see that they are mermaids, and want to exploit them, so the trio ends up taking the mermaids to work with them at the adult entertainment club. In the next scene you find out that the lady who found them is the main singer in the nightclub. She sings an energetic rendition of I Feel Love by Donna Summer. (At this point I was hoping that all the songs would be in English AND disco. Alas, they were not.)

The guy that runs the club sees the two mermaid sisters, aptly named Silver and Gold and is hooked. At this point the girls have legs, and can change into mermaids when they pour water on their bottom half. (I was wondering how the mermaids would be getting around on land.) They become the new stars of the club. Not only do they have beautiful voices, they can jump in a giant champagne glass of water and turn into mermaids!

Here's where mermaid lore comes into play. If a mermaid falls in love with a human and he marries someone else, she'll turn into sea foam. Also if a mermaid cuts off her fin, she can no longer sing. I won't give away all the details of the film, but it's not a fairy tale ending. Keep these tidbits in mind if you go to see The Lure. It starts off as a strong unique film, then by the end diverges into a ho-hum drama.

Now was this movie a horror movie? I'd say NOT so much. There's small hints of horror. There's a surgery scene, with close-ups of the cutting and stitching, but it's more horrific to understand why it's happening. So this movie doesn't really have gore for gore's sake, it's bloody for a reason.

The mermaids seem to have a lust for eating human hearts too, ok that falls under "horror", but there's only four killings throughout the story, three done by the same mermaid. All seem to avoid showing too much detail. It sounds strange, but there's plenty of blood, without it being graphic. The scenes are in a small confined space of a car, or at night. The last scene is probably the most graphic with a close up, but even then it's still lacking in to horror department.

Was it a musical? Yes. There's music almost constantly throughout the whole thing. It's nice that they tried to feature all genres of music including punk, disco, pop, autotune, and even a Lady GaGa-esque song. I felt that some of the song lyrics didn't really relate to the storyline and the few songs they added choreography to seemed forced. All in all, the acting was good, the mermaid fin tails looked very real, and the fact that the mermaid sisters could communicate with fish sounds ~ like telepathy ~ was a unique feature to the story. 

It was entertaining, but not enough to lure me in. (Get it? I made a joke.)


Monday, April 10, 2017

Feline Fancy Palette

Years ago I found out about Sugarpill Cosmetics from Auxiliary Magazine. I've always wanted to try their eye shadows. The colors appear hyper-pigmented and super bright. They are even cruelty free! (On a side note, it's my goal to only buy cruelty free makeup.)

As I get older, I find that bright colors don't really suit me as much as they used to, or it could be I'm just lazy about blending, but when I saw the Feline Fancy limited edition palette from Sugarpill a few months ago, I thought ~ it MUST be mine! Not only are the colors purrrrrfect, there's a cat on it.

My order shipped quick and came in a bright pink box!



The artwork on the palette is by Brandi Milne. She's a self taught painter from California with a flair for surreal dreamscape imagery and I'm a sucker for packaging! This white fluffy kitty with highlighted fangs surrounded by heart shaped candy is just my cup of tea.



There are four eye shadows ~ three are shimmery and one is matte. There's even a liquid lipstick.


I used S.W.A.K (top left) as my blush. It goes on less shimmery than pictured and more peachy, I used Wink and Kiss Kiss (both on the right) as eye shadow. The light Wink color is a great shimmery highlighter too. Both colors pictured stay the same color when you put them on.  I used the matte Text Me brown as an eye liner under my eyes. It's a matte neutral that's very subtle. The lipstick in Strange Love, is shimmery but has a matte/ lip stain feel and the color is a brown red. I love it.


Feline Fancy was my first purchase from Sugarpill and it won't be my last.

I also wrote about my first purchase from Lunatick Cosmetics ~ the Elvira palette (and I wrote about Elvira too! Duh.) Lunatick Cosmetics are cruelty free as well, with amazing packaging. I used the single palette to makeup my WHOLE face. You can check that out here.

Have you ever bought something for packaging and was pleasantly surprised that it was a great product?